KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 -- The Securities Commission (SC) today announced three new initiatives to reinforce its role as a leading advocate of Islamic capital market (ICM) development."The initiatives are strengthening partnerships through collaborative efforts, establishment of an international advisory committee (IAC) and convening of the semi-annual ICM forum," SC chairman Datuk Zarinah Anwar said at the opening of International Islamic Capital Market Forum here Thursday.The forum was officiated at by Deputy Finance Minister 1, Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.Zarinah said these initiatives would have a positive and significant impact on the overall Malaysian capital market."We are aware that there remains much to be done. For instance, the talent pool for Islamic finance remains shallow worldwide," she said.She said reference materials and scholarly articles were also thin."More applied research is required to be undertaken in this area. And certainly, there must be more coordinated and concerted efforts among regulators, industry and academia towards promoting and developing Malaysia as an Islamic financial centre."It is for these reasons that the SC has embarked on an ICM plan," she said.On the strengthening of partnerships through collaborative efforts, she said the SC has signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) and University of Malaya (UM)."The MOU with USIM involves the compilation and publication of world's first syariah rulings (fatwas) and with UM, it involves the establishment of a Visiting Scholar (VS) programme."The publication of fatwas will provide academics and practitioners a single source of references of all rulings culled from major jurisdictions worldwide," she said.Zarinah said the first volume of the compilation was expected to be produced by early next year.On the VS programme, Zarinah said renowned scholars and visiting professors in Islamic finance would be sponsored and attached with UM for up to three months in a move to promote and enhance research in ICM.As for the IAC, she said, the establishment of the committee would provide strategic guidance and international perspectives in ICM.The six-member IAC is chaired by Zarinah and comprises Dr Mohamed Ali Elgari (Saudi Arabia syariah scholar); Iqbal Khan (founding board member/chief executive officer (CEO) of Fajr Capital, UK); Abdulkader Thomas (president/CEO of Shape Financial Corp, US and Kuwait); Sheikh Nizam Yaqubi (Bahrain syariah scholar); and, Datuk Sulaiman Younis (managing director, Kuwait Finance House Malaysia).